« PreviousContinue »
No Platform adopted by second Democratic
Convention; no Platform adopted by Whig
Convention at Harrisburg, 1839; First Demo-
cratic National Platform, 1840..
Whig National Platform, 1844..
Democratic National Platform, 1844
No Platform adopted openly by Whig Con-
Democratic National Platform, 1848.
Buffalo Free Soil Platform, 1848..
Whig National Platform, 1852..
Democratic National Platform, 1852.
Free Democratic Platform, 1852.
Republican National Platform, 1856.
American National Platform, 1856.
Democratic National Platform, 1856.
Whig National Platform, 1856..
Republican National Platform, 1860..
Constitutional Union Party Platform, 1860..
Democratic (Douglas) Platform of 1860...
Addition thereto by Baltimore Convention..
Seceders' Platform adopted at Charleston..
The same readopted by the Seceders' (Breckin-
SECEDERS' CONVENTION at Baltimore nomi-
nates John C. Breckinridge for President, and
Gen. Joseph Lane for Vice-President..
SEWARD, WM. H., of New-York, candidate
for President before National Republican Conven-
His "Irrepressible Conflict " Speech at Roches-
SERGEANT, JOHN, of Pennsylvania, beaten
Defeated for Vice-President in Whig National
Beaten for Vice-President in Democratic Con-
RANDOLPH, JOHN, of Virginia, on Everett, 204
RAYNOR KENNETH, of North Carolina, de-
feated for President in American Convention,
REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION, 1856 22
REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION, 1860 26
Compromise finally carried in the House by 90
Yeas (14 only from Free States) to 87 Nays
The third Missouri Struggle; Enlargement of
Annexation project of Milton Brown of Tenn.;
Adopted, Yeas 118, Nays 101; Proposition of
Annexation carried in Senate, 26 to 25; The
The Clayton Compromise; Mr. J. M. Root's Re-
solve for Slavery Restriction; Proposition of
Proposition of Mr. Richard W. Thompson, of
Ind.; Slavery excluded from Oregon Terri-
Mr. Douglas, of Illinois, proposes to extend the
Senate agrees, but House refuses; The Compro-
mise of 1850; Gen. Taylor's recommenda
tions; Gen. Sam Houston's proposition; Hen-
ry Clay's plan of Compromise; John Bell's
Objections to Mr. Clay's scheme by Foote of
Ditto by Jefferson Davis of Miss.; Mr. Clay
in reply; Messrs. Downs of La., King of Ala.,
and Butler of S. C., in further opposition to
Mr. Foote of Miss. moves a Committee of Thir-
A POLITICAL TEXT-BOOK FOR 1860.
NATIONAL CAUCUSES, CONVENTIONS, AND
NATIONAL Conventions for the nomination of a potent influence over such questions, being, candidates are of comparatively recent origin. on this occasion, unable to agree as to which of In the earlier political history of the United her favored sons should have the preference.. States, under the Federal Constitution, candi-Ninety-four of the 136 Republican members of dates for President and Vice-President were Congress attended this caucus, and declared nominated by congressional and legislative their preference of Mr. Madison, who receivedi caucuses. Washington was elected as first 83 votes, the remaining 11 being divided bePresident under the Constitution, and reëlected tween Mr. Monroe and George Clinton. The for a second term by a unanimous, or nearly Opposition supported Mr. Pinckney; but Mr. unanimous, concurrence of the American people; Madison was elected by a large majority. but an opposition party gradually grew up in Toward the close of Mr. Madison's earlier Congress, which became formidable during his term, he was nominated for reëlection by a second term, and which ultimately crystalized Congressional Caucus held at Washington, in into what was then called the Republican May, 1812. In September of the same year, a party. John Adams, of Massachusetts, was convention of the Opposition, representing prominent among the leading Federalists, while eleven States, was held in the city of NewThomas Jefferson, of Virginia, was preemi-York, which nominated De Witt Clinton, of nently the author and oracle of the Republican | New-York, for President. He was also put in party, and, by common consent, they were the nomination by the Republican Legislature of opposing candidates for the Presidency, on New-York. The ensuing canvass resulted in Washington's retirement in 1796-7. the reëlection of Mr. Madison, who received 128 electoral votes to 89 for De Witt Clinton.
Mr. Adams was then chosen President, while Mr. Jefferson, having the largest electoral vote next to Mr. A., became Vice-President.
The first Congressional Caucus to nominate candidates for President and Vice-President, is said to have been held in Philadelphia in the year 1800, and to have nominated Mr. Jefferson for the first office, and Aaron Burr for the second. These candidates were elected after a desperate struggle, beating John Adams and Charles C. Pinckney, of South Carolina. In 1804, Mr. Jefferson was reëlected President, with George Clinton, of New-York, for Vice, encountering but slight opposition: Messrs. Charles C. Pinckney and Rufus King, the opposing candidates, receiving only 14 out of 176 Electoral Votes. We have been unable to find any record as to the manner of their nomination. In January, 1808, when Mr. Jefferson's second term was about to close, a Republican Congressional Caucus was held at Washington, to decide as to the relative claims of Madison and Monroe for the succession, the Legislature of Virginia, which had been said to exert
In 1816, the Republican Congressional Caucus nominated James Monroe, who received, in the caucus, 65 votes to 54 for Wm. H. Crawford, of Georgia. The Opposition, or Federalists, named Rufus King, of New-York, who received. only 34 electoral votes out of 217. There was no opposition to the reëlection of Mr. Monroe in 1820, a single (Republican) vote being cast. against him, and for John Quincy Adams.
In 1824, the Republican party could not be induced to abide by the decision of a Congres sional Caucus. A large majority of the Republican members formally refused to participate in such a gathering, or be governed by its deci sion; still, a Caucus was called and attended by the friends of Mr. Crawford alone. Of the 261 members of Congress at this time, 216 were Democrats or Republicans, yet only 66 responded to their names at roll-call, 64 of whom voted for Mr. Crawford as the Republican nominee for President. This nomination was very extensively repudiated throughout the country, and three competing Republican candidates
were brought into the field through legislative | New-York, presided over the deliberations of the and other machinery-viz., Andrew Jackson, | Convention, and the nominees received each Henry Clay, and John Quincy Adams. The re- 108 votes. The candidates accepted the nomi. sult of this famous "scrub race" for the Presi-nation and received the electoral vote of Verdency was, that no one was elected by the mont only. The Convention did not enunciate people, Gen. Jackson receiving 99 electoral any distinct platform of principles, but apvotes, Mr. Adams $4, Mr. Crawford 41, and Mr. pointed a committee to issue an Address to the Clay 37. The election then devolved on the people. In due time, the address was published. House of Representatives, where Mr. Adams It is quite as prolix and verbose as modern powas chosen, receiving the votes of 13 States, litical addresses; and, after stating at great against 7 for Gen. Jackson, and 4 for Mr. Craw-length the necessary qualifications for the ford. This was the end of "King Caucus." Chief of a great and free people, and presentGen. Jackson was immediately thereafter put ing a searching criticism on the institution of in nomination for the ensuing term by the Le-free-masonry in its moral and political bearings, gislature of Tennessee, having only Mr. Adams somewhat intensified from the excitement for an opponent in 1828, when he was elected caused by the (then recent) alleged murder of by a decided majority, receiving 178 Electoral William Morgan, for having revealed the secrets Votes to 83 for Mr. Adams. Mr. John C. Cal- of the Masonic Order, the Address comes to the houn, who had at first aspired to the Presidency, conclusion that, since the institution had bein 1824, withdrew at an early stage from the come a political engine, political agencies must canvass, and was thereupon chosen Vice-Presi- be used to avert its baneful effects-in other dent by very large electoral majority-Mr. words, "that an enlightened exercise of the Albert Gallatin, of Pennsylvania, (the caucus right of suffrage is the constitutional and candidate on the Crawford ticket,) being his equitable mode adopted by the Anti-Masons is only serious competitor. In 1828, Mr. Calhoun necessary to remove the evil they suffer, and was the candidate for Vice-President on the produce the reforms they seek." Jackson ticket, and of course reëlected. It was currently stated that the concentration of the Crawford and Calhoun strength on this ticket was mainly effected by Messrs. Martin Van Buren and Churchill C.Cambreleng, of NewYork, during a southern tour made by them in 1827. In 1828, Richard Rush, of Pennsylvania, was the candidate for Vice-President on the Adams ticket.
U. S. ANTI-MASONIC CONVENTION-1830. The first political National Convention in this country of which we have any record was held at Philadelphia in September, 1830, styled the United States Anti-Masonic Convention. It was composed of 96 delegates, representing the States of New-York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New-Jersey, Delaware, Ohio, Maryland and the 'Territory of Michigan. Francis Granger of New-York presided; but no business was transacted beyond the adoption of the following
Resolved, That it is recommended to the people of the United States, opposed to secret societies, to meet in convention on Monday the 26th day of September, 1881, at the city of Baltimore, by delegates equal in number to their representatives in both houses of Congress, to make nominations of suitable candidates for the office of President and Vice-President, to be supported at the next election, and for the transaction of such other business as the cause of Anti-Masonry may require.
DEMOCRATIC OR JACKSON NATIONAL
There was no open opposition in the Democratic party to the nomination of Gen. Jackson for a second term; but the party were not so well satisfied with Mr. Calhoun, the Vice-President; so a Convention was called to meet at Baltimore in May, 1832, to nominate a candidate for the second office. Delegates appeared and took their seats from the States of Maine, New-Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Mary. land, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.
Gen. Robert Lucas, of Ohio, presided, and the regular proceedings were commenced by the passage of the following resolution:
tion to be made for the Vice-Presidency, to a number of
Resolved, That each State be entitled, in the nominavotes equal to the number to which they will be entitled in the electoral colleges, under the new apportionment, in voting for President and Vice-President; and that two-thirds of the whole number of the votes in the Convention shall be necessary to constitute a choice.
This seems to have been the origin of the famous "two-thirds" rule which has prevailed of late in Democratic National Conventions.
The Convention proceeded to ballot for a candidate for Vice-President, with the following result:
In compliance with the foregoing call, a National Anti-Masonic Convention was held at Balti- For Martin Van Buren: Connecticut, 8; Illinois, 2; more, in September, 1831, which nominated Ohio, 21; Tennessee, 15; North Carolina, 9; Georgia, 11; William Wirt, of Maryland, for President, and Jersey, 8; Mississippi, 4; Rhode Island, 4; Maine, 10; Louisiana, 5; Pennsylvania, 30; Maryland, 7; NewAmos Ellmaker, of Pennsylvania, for Vice-Pre-Massachusetts, 14; Delaware, 3; New-Hampshire, 7 sident. The convention was attended by 112 de- New-York, 42; Vermont, 7; Alabama, 1-Total, 208. For Richard M. Johnson: Illinois, 2; Indiana,
Kentucky, 15—Total, 26.
legates from the States of Maine, New-Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, ConFor Philip P. Barbour: North Carolina, 6; Virginia, necticut, New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, 23; Maryland, 8; South Carolina, 11; Alabama, 6Ohio, Indiana, Delaware and Maryland-only Total, 49.
Massachusetts, New-York and Pennsylvania Mr. Van Buren, having received more than being fully represented. John C. Spencer, of two-thirds of all the votes cast, was declared
The committee, having interchanged opinions on the subject submitted to them, and agreeing fully in the principles and sentiments which they believe ought to be
erabodied in an address of this description, if such an address were to be made, nevertheless deem it advisable under existing circumstances, to recommend the adoption of the following resolution :
Resolved, That it be recommended to the several delegations in this Convention, in place of a General Address from this body to the people of the United States, to make such explanations by address, report, or otherwise, to their respective constituents, of the object, proceedings and result of the meeting, as they may deem expedient.
result of this election was the choice of General Jackson, who received the electoral vote of the following States:
Maine. 10; New-Hampshire, 7; New-York, 42; NewJersey, 8; Pennsylvania, 30; Maryland, 8'; Virginia, 23; North Carolina, 15; Georgia, 11; Tennessee, 15; Ohio, 21; Louisiana, 5; Mississippi, 4; Indiana, 9; Illinois, 5; Alabama, 7; Missouri, 4-Total, 219.
For Mr. Clay: Massachusetts, 14; Rhode Island, 4; Connecticut, 8; Delaware, 3; Maryland, 5; Kentucky,
For John Floyd, of Virginia: South Carolina, 11. For William Wirt, of Maryland: Vermont, 7.
Mr. Van Buren received only 189 votes for Vice-President, Pennsylvania, which cast her vote for Jackson, having voted for William Wilkins of that State for Vice-President. John Sergeant, for Vice-President, received the same vote as Mr. Clay for President. South Carolina voted for Henry Lee of Massachusetts,
NATIONAL REPUBLICAN CONVENTION
The National Republicans met in convention at Baltimore, Dec. 12, 1831. Seventeen States and the District of Columbia were represented by 157 delegates, who cast a unanimous vote for Henry Clay, of Kentucky, for President, and John Sergeant, of Pennsylvania, for Vice-President. James Barbour, of Virginia, presided, and the States represented were: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana and Indiana. The Convention adopted no formal platform of principles, but issued an Address, mainly devoted to a criticism on the Administration of Gen. Jackson, asserting, among other things, that
diate predecessor (J. Q. Adams) by Gen. Jackson in his Inaugural Address, and adds:
The indecorum of this denunciation was hardly less glaring than its essential injustice, and can only be paralleled by that of the subsequent denunciation of the same Administration, on the same authority, to a foreign government.
Exception is taken to the indiscriminate removal of all officers within the reach of the President, who were not attached to his person or party. As illustrative of the extent to which this political proscription was carried, it is stated that, within a month after the inauguration of General Jackson, more persons were removed from office than during the whole 40 years that had previously elapsed since the adoption of the Constitution. Fault is also found with the Administration in its conduct of our foreign affairs. Again the Address says:
On the great subjects of internal policy, the course of the President has been so inconsistent and vacillating, that it is impossible for any party to place confidence in his character, or to consider him as a true and effective friend. By avowing his approbation of a judicious tariff, at the same time recommending to Congress precisely the same policy which had been adopted as the best plan of attack by the opponents of that measure; by admitting the constitutionality and expediency of Internal Improvements of a National character, and at the same moment negativing the most important bills of this description which were presented to him by Congress, the President has shown that he is either a secret enemy to the system, tional objects in a vain attempt to conciliate the conflictor that he is willing to sacrifice the most important naing interests, or rather adverse party feeling and opinions of different sections of the country.
the United States Bank, and the necessity and Objection is taken to Gen. Jackson's war on usefulness of that institution are argued at considerable length. The outrageous and inhuman treatment of the Cherokee Indians by the State of Georgia, and the failure of the National Adacquired by treaty with the United States, ministration to protect them in their rights, is also the subject of animadversion in the the Address.
A resolve was adopted, recommending to the young men of the National Republican Party to hold a Convention in the city of Washington on the following May.
Such a Convention was accordingly held at the Capital on the 11th of May, 1832, over which William Cost Johnson, of Maryland, presided, and at which the following, among other resolves, were adopted:
Resolved, That an adequate Protection to American Industry is indispensable to the prosperity of the country; and that an abandonment of the policy at this period would be attended with consequences ruinous to the best interests of the Nation.
Resolved, That a uniform system of Internal Improve
ments, sustained and supported by the General Governharmony, the strength and the permanency of the Rement, is calculated to secure, in the highest degree, the public.
Resolved, That the indiscriminate removal of public gross abuse of power; and that the doctrine lately officers, for. a mere difference of political opinion, is a boldly preached in the United States Senate, that "to the victors belong the spoils of the vanquished," is detrimental to the interest, corrupting to the morals, and dangerous to the liberties of the people of this country.
The political history of the Union for the last three years exhibits a series of measures plainly dictated in all their principal features by blind cupidity or vindictive party spirit, marked throughout by a disregard of good policy, justice, and every high and generous sentiment, and, terminating in a dissolution of the Cabinet under DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION, circumstances more discreditable than any of the kind to be met with in the annals of the civilized world.
The address alludes to the charge of incapa- In May, 1835, a National Convention reprecity and corruption leveled against his imme-senting twenty-one States, assembled at Balti